Our firm was established in 1988 and has been engaged in the general practice of law ever since. The firm specializes in estate planning, probate and business law.
Thanks for coming by my website. I hope you enjoy what you find here.
I want to tell you a little bit about my practice and how it differs from other lawyers you may have contacted or sought information from. Traditionally, law firms providing estate planning for their clients are really doing little more than “selling documents.” My goal is to go a step further. While documents are certainly important they are not as important as the information and counseling you receive from the attorney who is guiding you in planning your estate.
What I provide for my clients is first and foremost counseling. Before I meet with clients for the very first time I asked them to provide me information about themselves, their families, their hopes and what they hope to accomplish in the estate planning process. Once I have this information I study it and familiarize myself with the clients goals. Then I actually talk with the client and arrange a mutually acceptable time to meet. At this meeting I explained a little bit how are firm works but more importantly, using the information clients have provided me ahead of time, I talked with the clients about the various aspects of estate planning, wills, trusts, protecting children saving money by streamlining state and trust administration and, if necessary, minimizing transfer taxes. Then the clients and me devise a plan to carry out client’s objectives at a cost that is acceptable to the client.
About four weeks after our first meeting will need a second time and it’s at this meeting that I’ll present the clients with their actual documents. We will explain the documents to the client and then sign them. That is not the end of our relationship so. The counseling aspect of estate planning goes beyond the mere preparation of documents. The counseling is so important that I will hold onto the documents and put the mentor system until our final meeting which will take place 2 to 3 weeks later.
At this final meeting I will present the client with the completed estate plan in the form of their physical documents. The importance of this final meeting is to assure the clients that I will always be available to them and to their loved ones to answer any questions they may have and to assure them that we will routinely review their estate plan every three years. That’s just part of our regular service. I will suggest to clients though that they take advantage of our membership program that will entitle them to annual reviews of their plan and make her firm available to the clients to discuss with them any changes in the law that may affect their family and loved ones but more importantly to take into consideration any changes in family dynamics such as birth of a new member, children heading off to college, health issues and the like. We provide this in a very affordable monthly fee.
One thing that definitely sets us aside from your typical law firm is the fact that none of our services are billed on an hourly basis. All fees are “flat” fees. Clients always know “up-front” what our services cost so that there is never going to be any surprise about a huge unexpected bill. The benefit of this is that clients are never afraid to call us and ask for our help. They know what the services will cost ahead of time. As I mentioned earlier counseling is the most important aspect of legal services and clients should never be afraid to consult with their attorney because they fear rapidly increasing hourly charges.
Our hope is that clients will be much more than just clients – the become trusted friends. Should you choose to become one of our members you will receive weekly new leaf newsletters from us in a variety of different subjects, some legal, some of changes in the tax or probate laws and some just for fun.
On a personal note, I’ve been practicing law for nearly 44 years. My wife and I have been married for 46 years, we have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. So I understand family needs and the importance of providing comfort and counseling to clients and their families during life of time of death. It’s a fact of life that we all will die someday. This fact needn’t be morbid but rather an opportunity for each of us to make sure that our family and loved ones are taken care of to the best of our abilities.
I certainly hope that after visiting our website here you feel more comfortable discussing your estate planning with us.
I was admitted to practice in Missouri in 1973.
Education: A.B. St. Louis University, 1968; J.D. University of Missouri at Columbia School of Law, 1973; LL.M (Tax Law), Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri, 1978.
Admissions: Supreme Court of Missouri; United States District Court – Eastern District of Missouri; United States District Court – Western District of Missouri; United States Court of Appeals – 8th Circuit (St. Louis); United States Court of Appeals – 7th Circuit (Chicago); United States Tax Court.
11469 Olive Boulevard – Suite 130, St. Louis, MO 63141